Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Challenger running for City Council for the third time

The candidate’s website | Facebook | Twitter


Background: Attorney, former Cambridge Public Schools teacher, former president of the Cambridge Teachers Association, former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, former vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO | Focuses: Civil discourse, hiring the next city manager, climate resilience through housing and transportation


Q&A

Compiled by Matt Rocha

Toner is an attorney and former teacher in Cambridge Public Schools.  He served as president of the Cambridge Teachers Association and vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, among other board positions in public and private organizations. He grew up in Cambridge and, in turn, raised his children in the city. He is seeking his second term on council.

Housing: “I don’t support putting more money – the $20 million some people were proposing – into the Affordable Housing Trust, only because I want it to stay in the city’s coffers so we have flexibility. When we identify a project we want to do, we’ll have the flexibility to do that.”

Climate policy: “The original Beudo that came out did affect residential units and condos, and only because myself and several other councillors fought hard against it did we get those removed. I’m comfortable with the Beudo that passed … I would not make any further changes to Beudo at this point.”

Road infrastructure: “The Cambridge Bike Safety Pledge says that you won’t change anything about timelines or make any modifications. I think we need the flexibility to be able to implement the bike lane buildout … There have been some proactive, positive suggestions for Garden Street that would have helped alleviate some of the consternation of the neighbors, and I was told, ‘No, we can’t do that.”

Pet project: As a former teacher, Toner believes that Cambridge should allocate some of its funds from the American Rescue Plan to expand prekindergarten.

Participatory budgeting: 

“I would invest in improvements at all of our dog parks, including lighting to allow for extended use in the fall and winter months.”

Favorite place: “Fresh Pond for exercise and walking my dog, Odin.”